?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Long Battle Has Ended

(This is ChaosLoki’s husband making my first, and the final, posting to this journal.)  


04/01/1966 – 01/18/2008

 

The Timeline

Monday, 01/07/2008:  We went to the oncologist for a scheduled check-up and all looks fine with Heather.

Friday, 01/11/2008:  We went to the oncologist for her chemo treatment and she was looking a bit jaundiced, so they admitted her to the hospital for tests.  This didn’t really raise any flags with us, since she has had so many tests.  Her biggest complaint is that the room they put her in has a TV that turns itself off after being on for 17 seconds. 

Saturday, 01/12/2008 – Sunday, 01/13/2008:  We “fix” the TV by bringing her lots of stuff to occupy her time:  DVD player and DVD’s, Zune with docking station, books, and her basket of current crafting.  Between the testing and her amusements there is no time for worrying.

Monday, 01/14/2008:  AM:  I drop the girls off at school and head over to the hospital.  She is meeting with a nurse from the practice who is there to give us the results of the weekend of testing.  It was a certainty that the jaundice was being caused by poor liver function.  They had been hoping to find a blocked duct or something they could clear out, unfortunately, all they found was a liver that was so riddled with tumors that it could no longer perform its function.  She estimates a life expectancy for Heather of 4-6 weeks.  Heather refuses to believe this until her doctor tells her himself.  He is supposed to be by that afternoon.

Monday, 01/14/2008:  PM:  The doctor confirms the prognosis for Heather, the girls, and myself.  However, his estimate is 2-4 weeks unless he can find some sort of chemo drug that doesn’t process out of the body through the liver.  He is not optimistic, but Heather says, “No, she isn’t ready to go home, that would be quitting.”  The doctor also warns us that the unprocessed toxins in her system are going to be quite hard on her brain and that each day she will have less mental acuity than the previous day.

Tuesday, 01/15/2008:  AM:  We are waiting and hoping for an eleventh hour reprieve, none occurs.  We try and discuss “final matters”, but it is very difficult.  Between her tendency to lose concentration and wander in speech and my reluctance to press her on matters we cover little and much of it ambiguously.  She then takes a nap.

Tuesday, 01/15/2008:  PM:  She concludes “no news is bad news” from her doctor and wants to go home.  The hospital isn’t quite ready and/or prepared to transfer her to home hospice care and we agree to settle all matters on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, 01/16/2008:  We hear from the doctor in the morning, there is nothing else he can do.  He clears her for release to home hospice and he estimates that she probably won’t be at home for more than a week.  She comes home that afternoon.  I set up to have her sleep on “my” side of the bed, which is closer to the bathroom, but she crawls to her side as soon as she gets on the bed.  She pets her dogs and cat, we make some phone calls, and visits a bit with “TOH”.  She goes to sleep happy.

Thursday, 01/17/2008:  The toxins/enzymes are taking quite a toll on her higher functions.  She can still stand, hobble, crawl, sit-up, eat, drink, etc. on her own, or with some assistance, but she has a hard time holding concentration long enough to string more than 3 words together.  She definitely perks up for visitors though, and we have a stream of them in and out of the house all day.  She definitely appreciated all the love and attention from all of her family and friends.  She ends the day by crawling to her side of the bed, and with some assistance, leaning back against her favorite pillow.

Friday, 01/18/2008:  She has a much less restless night than Thursday night.  A few minor position changes early on, and then she settled into comfortable position.  Her breathing stopped at about 4:00 am and she was officially declared dead at 6:20 am.  She died like she lived, on her own terms, and with dignity and grace.

 

The world will be a drabber place without her direct presence, but hopefully, some of her brightness can live on through her daughters and the effects she has had on the lives of those she has known.

One of the amazing things about her was her fighting spirit and the abundant sense of final victory that she bestowed on all around her.  Rereading through her Live Journal today it seems like her demise was an inevitable conclusion to a long and constantly deteriorating condition.  Yet, living next to her during that period, there was never any thought given to anything but her ultimate recovery.    

I plan on archiving these journal entries of hers, so that in future years, as time takes its toll on memories, her written word can help remind her daughters of what a truly remarkable person they had for a mother.

Ick

It's below freezing here in Baja Jorja.  The house may be toasty, and my knees aren't hurting.  (Not that I can't fix that.)  If the weather is like this (or the other extreme), I'll be totally in a hotel for Gulf Wars.  Not my idea of "camping", but better than being dehydrated.  I just wish I could get a schedule going so I can get garb and stuff made.

Tags:

Burpalicious

Can I just feel good for a week?

I've got that damn reflux under my diaphragm again.  And I'm sleeping all wrong.  I'd like to make Ste. Benet's on Friday, but who knows if I'll be awake.  And with all the excess weight, no clue if my garb still fits.  I have no idea what I'm supposed to bring besides myself.

Maybe I should just finish my brown long coat.

Tags:

Good day

My nocturnal self was awoken at 8am this morning, by a rep from one of my credit cards wanting payment.  I've been having problems with dropped payments since Quicken auto-updated to the latest version, and won't let me downgrade.  I'm still recovering from that and trying to get things closer to how it used to be.

Oddly, instead of getting pissed off by the 8am call, I took care of things, but didn't go back to bed.  It's now after five and I'm hovering around waiting for J to finish his workout so we can go get food.  I can't say I've accomplished anything today - just another "little things" day.  But I found the crochet pattern stuff I misplaced, and can get started on some projects once I pick up supplies.  Crochet is good since once I've started, I find it very easy to pick up and put down.  S has some cosplay thing she wants to do for L.  Since it involves plaid fabric, she has carte blanche.  :)  We easily agreed on where to eat - not a normal thing when S is involved.  (L's  off to ATL with tVs)  I'm hungry and my tummy/hydration issues aren't bothering me. 
Hence the "hovering". 

Definitely a good day here.  Even when you get nothing done.

Tags:

Animal sacrifice

In memory of:

REMO "Captain Cremo" BLOOM
February 1992-December 2007

May your hallways always be litter-box free and the dogs appreciate a good tongue grooming.  Give the others a swipe from me.

Tags:

You can't fight city hall. Or county hall.

Word of the year.

"My mansion has many rooms with walls needing head-shaped holes"

3 Major Holidays

OK. Technically, Hanukkah is a minor Jewish holiday. Tell that to a bunch of Jewish kids.
Can I stop to breathe now? How about losing the grumpiness. I bah-humbugged my way through S's b-day (14 now), and Thanksgiving (and thank you K for the yummy cooking), and L's b-day(age 10). This ushers in the "mega" part of our winter holiday season, complete this year with virtually no assistance from me. But at least Sarah found Joe's present under her bed.

Joe stepped up for, well, everything. If he'd stop trying to quantify cooking, he could make damn good Podvarek. (Sorry - I was sleeping and didn't post the sauerkraut-stuffed turkey recipe. I did last year and I think madshutterbug cross-posted last year. Recipe available on request... posted right here.)

A few years ago was "The eBay X-mas", where a list of beanie babies, amphetamines, PayPal, and ignorance of "BUY IT NOW!!!, conspired to keep me awake for a week. (All to keep from driving 2 hours south to an outlet mall.) This year was the "Woot! X-mas", in which cheap shipping, crap items and "You cannot drive until we say otherwise", resulted in my daughters getting power drivers. Thankfully, their father filled for me.

I really should take the rest of my meds and lay down. Remo is still sick. If I can't get a vet drop-off for the morning, I'll move him into my bed for a few hours so I clean the couch. (It's that icky sinus smell, but I don't want him laying around in Febreze or damp cushions once I steam 'em.

Off to check Woot! (Damn you all! We've been talking about getting a laptop as I got sicker and tonight's Woot! is one. I won't give in though. First, this ain't a cheap Chinese socket set and I need to do major research for this.

Almost forgot... my cutCollapse ) :) OOTS Clock in the Den or Living Room?

Tags:

Stupid Loki tricks

Go to Chemotherapy on Wednesday. Stand up to get a soda for self and cup of ice for neighbor. Feel light-headed, and spin to place buttocks back on big comfy chair. Misjudge spin and impact with your Chemo onc, who provides a convenient slide to into his lap. Now have a seizure.

Guaranteed to have you whisked across the street to the Hospital

I always thought that staying for "observation" meant the nurses just checked in on you every few hours after you ate... it doesn't. It means, "we'll keep reheating your food until they finish running every test they can think of, and then some more a colleague recommended. They gloss over this in all those Discovery/Science channel medical shows, conveniently skipping the 6 weeks the patient has been stuck in that damn room.

They also take you off every medication, strip it all down to steroids and then add things back one, by one (unless "as needed for 'X'").

Now if I can just get the hubby to unwrap me from the cotton. I can use it to some extent, but if I'm already crouched or laying on the floor, it's too late.

Now I have 3 days worth of mail to go through, 90% of which is packages and bills. I will be getting a ton of nasty "PAYMENT DUE" mail this month.

Tags:

Tags: